Sonlight 400

American Government / Civics and Economics

One-year package | Ages: 16-18 | Grades: 11-12
Retail: $927.43
$834.69
Package Options
Level 400 options:More info Complete ProgramCustomize Program
Add Required Resources More Info
Item #: 400-00
Add to Cart Add to Wish List
Time Payments This package qualifies for Payment Plans.
Shipping Ships for FREE with fast, trackable shipping (to the lower 48 states). Details.
Description

Unearth the heritage and history of the U.S. government

  • Take a tour of American government, with an up-close look at the three branches with our high school history curriculum.
  • Consider modern-day economic theories and values in light of God's perspective on possessions with our homeschool bible curriculum.
  • Encounter the "great American novel," along with noteworthy short stories, plays, poems, biographies and more.
  • Discover practical ways to live out a faith that is relevant to and integrates with our government, culture and the world.
  • Purchase this package and you'll get free shipping (lower 48), Forum access, a one-year guarantee and other perks.

Overview of Government

One-Semester

Sonlight's 400 American Government program looks at how our government works and why it works as it does. The course starts with a brief study of the few biblical passages that deal with government (what, ideally, should the government do, and what should be our response to the government).

The primary text, Carson's Basic American Governmen, presents both the founding documents and a brief history of the United States Government. The history begins during the time of the Colonies, before they had combined into one. The Constitution transformed the 13 Colonies into one government, and students study the Constitution in depth, with all the various Articles and Amendments.

Besides the Constitution, students read some of the key documents and speeches; in an upper-level history program, it's good to read primary source documents.

After the Constitution, the course continues with a history of American Government as seen through the various administrations. For example, the Jeffersonians/Jacksonians dominated the early 1800s: How did they interpret the Constitution? And then, during and after the Civil War, Americans' understanding of the purpose of government shifted. How so? (If this sounds dry, it's only because you haven't yet read the text. History is interesting in the hands of a great storyteller – even a history of government.)

Besides Carson's text, this course includes six other books:

  • one that informs the reader of current politics in DC (lobbyists, bureaucracy, special-interest groups, and other things that come up on the news);
  • one that goes more in-depth on how Congress works in practice;
  • one that brilliantly summarizes the Supreme Court, especially the current court;
  • one that details how a president is elected (what makes Iowa import; if you don't understand it all, this is the book for you);
  • one about the ideology of political parties;
  • one that looks at one man's experiences of the racial divide in our country and why the Civil Rights movement was so necessary (still current and applicable, sadly).

Thus, two books cover the workings of government from before the States were united up until today's politicking in DC. One book each covers the three branches of government: legislative, judicial, and executive; one book helps with thinking about voting; and yet another highlights one of the main problems in our country, from before its inception up through the present day. Such a good balance!

My hope is that students come away with an understanding of the foundational documents, some sense of both the history and the present, the ability to read and make sense of the news, and the knowledge of whom (and how) to ask if you want to change something in Washington. When finished, your students will know about the House Ways and Means Committee, the reason most controversial Supreme Court rulings come in June, and the difference between caucuses and primaries.

In short, the news will make sense.

Overall, this program moves well from topic to topic, covering widely with a reasonable amount of depth. Very high-interest throughout. Also includes two books for Bible.

Overview of Economics

One-Semester

Many states require Economics in order to graduate. Sonlight's program gives students a balanced, critical view of modern economics, from basic theory to politics and trade. It also seeks to look at God's perspective.

Central to this course is a quality online program from Thinkwell (good for one student for one year; additional subscriptions needed for each student).

Thinkwell co-founder Dan Heath writes:

I had an amazing microeconomics professor when I was a freshman in college. In the first minute of the first day of class, he asked a question: Why do you always see multiple gas stations clustered on the same street corner? It seems a bit crazy, when you think about it. Why would a gas station owner deliberately position himself next to the competition? An hour later, we knew the answer. More importantly, in the span of one class period, we had learned that economics is not about money. It's about a new way of thinking.

That class was full of ideas that stuck with me. They're etched into my memory – I can remember them clearly 15 years later. … And that amazing professor is the teacher of this course.

Thinkwell has 262 online video lectures, filled with animations, examples, and humor. Also concise, illustrated notes, a glossary, transcript of every video – even pertinent web links. Print as you need, or view it all online.

When students enter their answers to various exercises online, they get their grade automatically – complete with solutions, fully worked out and explained.

The Sonlight Instructor's Guide includes two complete lesson plans – one for general use, and one a more intensive track for students who wish to try for college credit.

Sonlight's Economics also includes relevant Bible passages each day, and questions for students to answer in the included journal.

Estimated daily time for American Government and Economics: Student: 1 hr.

Our high school programs are separated by subject to allow customers maximum flexibility. Feel free to buy either the History (i.e., Government and Economics) or the Literature, or both, or to mix-and-match with the History and Literature of other Sonlight programs.

Overview of the Literature

Once children have achieved basic literacy, they can read for information. That is much of what we read each day: news reports, how-to books, cookbooks. I never go to my cookbook cupboard to figure out the deeper meaning life.

True literature, though, requires more effort, more thought. A novel has the basic, surface-level plot. But what is it saying beyond that?

Mortimer Adler wrote How to Read a Book to help readers read better – to read and understand more than the basic plot. It isn't a fun book to read, the way a fast-paced novel is, but it is informative, and possibly life-changing.

This book serves as the general framework for Sonlight's 400 American Literature program. Rather than choosing a book from each of the major periods ("Pre-Colonial," "Transcendentalism," etc.), and working in chronological order, instead, this course uses my favorite books by American authors and allows Adler's instruction to help read these outstanding works with more understanding and enjoyment.

So, for example, after the schedule assigns Adler's chapter on "How to Read History," the students get to enjoy two-time Pulitzer winner David McCullough's short profiles of fascinating historical characters. (They're incredible.)

After the schedule assigns "How to Read Practical Books," the students look at the classic guide on writing, The Elements of Style, beautifully co-written by E.B. White (author of Charlotte's Web).

After Adler offers suggestions about reading Tragedy, the students read one of the greatest plays of the 20th Century, Death of a Salesman (it won both a Tony and a Pulitzer the year it came out).

How to read autobiographies? Practice on Booker T. Washington's Up from Slavery and the breathtaking missionary biography Evidence Not Seen.

How to read imaginative literature? Practice on Their Eyes Were Watching God, one of the most cheerful portrayals of happily married people in all of literature.

How to read short stories? Practice on five stunning shorts by Wendell Berry.

And, at the end of the year, after Adler talks about "How to Read Social Science," the students read Malcolm Gladwell's encouragement that, yes, success takes a lot of time … but if you love what you're doing, it's worth it. Go change the world!

As always, I seek to have a good mix of genres. One category is The Great American Novel, a book that accurately shows the culture of the United States at a specific time. Incredibly, this program has four: The Scarlet Letter, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Separate Peace, and The Grapes of Wrath. These take place in, respectively, Colonial New England, the antebellum Midwest, an Eastern prep school, and the Great Depression South, moving to California. What a range of times and places!

This course has other genres, too: novels, detective stories, drama, lyric poems, short stories, history, tragedy, essays, science fiction, and autobiographies.

And I seek to balance the year as a whole, so that tragedies are balanced with more cheerful works; so that books that take a month to finish are followed by books that take a week or two; so that students read books by men and women, by more than white authors. This course is balanced in all those ways.

But mostly, I want your students to view each book as a delight and a gift, as I do.

For Language Arts, this program includes, as always, literary analysis. Also short daily writing assignments working through William Zinsser's On Writing Well.

Estimated daily time for American Literature: Student: 1 hr.

Highlight Previously Purchased Items Print Booklist

Instructor's Guides

History 420 Parent Guide (420-PG)

Get all the lesson plans and teaching helps you need to effectively teach History, Geography and Bible for the entire year.

Retail:
$54.99

Add

History 420 Student Guide (420-SG)

Get the daily schedule and tools your student needs for History, Geography, and Bible for the entire year.

Retail:
$32.99

Add

Literature 430 Parent Guide (430-PG)

Get all the lesson plans and teaching helps you need to effectively teach Literature and Language Arts for the entire year.

Retail:
$50.99

Add

Literature 430 Student Guide (430-SG)

Get the daily schedule and tools your student needs for Literature and Language Arts for the entire year.

Retail:
$27.99

Add

Bible

God and Politics (410-01)

Was America ever a Christian nation, and should it be one? Which Old Testament laws apply to civil life today? To what extent should the state tolerate non-Christian views and practices in the name of pluralism? More than a dozen contributors representing four positions on the biblical role of civil government ask and address these and other pertinent questions.

Retail:
$22.99

Add

Truth and Transformation (410-02)

Truth and Transformation holds out help, hope and healing — through the Gospel's foundational truths — for the woes of present-day Western society. An international scholar and visionary, the author unveils the transformative power of Jesus-centered thinking for every area of life, from morality to the economy to education and more.

Retail:
$17.99

Add

Eternity in Their Hearts (420-30)

The year is 1795, and deep in the jungles of Burma hundreds of tribesmen rush out to a clearing to greet a white-skinned stranger. Could he be the one to bring the book their forefathers lost so many centuries ago-the book that tells the secrets of Y'Wa, the Supreme God? Astonishingly, Yes!

Retail:
$15.99

Add

College Prep

Sonlight's Economics Program Instructor's Guide (670-01)

Demystify the world of Economics (macro and micro) far beyond any textbook.

Retail:
$34.99

Add

The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance (670-02)

Can Modern Economics be practical... even emotional? Yes!

Retail:
$25.95

Add

Sonlight Personal Journal (670-03)

Tell your own story in this Personal Journal...

Retail:
$9.99

Add

Thinkwell Economics Internet Course (670-04)

An incredible Internet-based resource for teaching your high schoolers about Modern Economics—both macro and micro.

Retail:
$150.00

Add

Electives

Money, Possessions and Eternity (670-05)

A thorough study on what the Bible says about money

Retail:
$15.99

Add

History & Geography

The U.S. Supreme Court (420-01)

How do cases make their way to the Supreme Court? How do the justices come to their final decision? In this brief introductory text, a Pulitzer Prize?winning journalist explains how the Supreme Court really works.

Retail:
$11.95

Add

Are You Liberal? Conservative? or Confused? (420-02)

Are You a Liberal? Conservative? or Confused? is part of the "Uncle Eric" series, where the author takes on the role of an economist writing a series of letters to his niece or nephew. Presented from the viewpoint of America's Founders, this book gives a clear, interesting explanation of political labels — what they mean, associated economic policies, the plans promoters have for your money and more.

Retail:
$12.95

Add

Selecting a President (420-03)

Selecting a President is a nuts-and-bolts look at the presidential electoral system. From the primaries to conventions to the election and Inauguaration Day, come along on the fascinating journey that begins in Iowa and New Hampshire and ends at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Retail:
$19.99

Add

The Complete Idiot's Guide to U.S. Government & Politics (420-04)

Our government works. This books tells you how. Step behind the curtain of bureaucracy and gain a true understanding of how the complex system functions. Learn more about the three branches of U.S. government, the role political parties play in democracy, the various roles of the president and more.

Retail:
$19.95

Add

Congress for Dummies (420-06)

If you've ever wondered how (and why) they do what they do in Congress, this fun, friendly guide will shed some light. You'll learn who the players are and get an insider's view on the processes, too ? from legislation to lobbying, caucuses to coalitions and so much more.

Retail:
$19.99

Add

Basic American Government (420-10)

We looked at dozens of texts before settling with delight on this volume. It provides exactly the kind of basic outline we need for a high school civics class.

Retail:
$36.00

Add

Readers / Literature

Black Like Me (420-15)

A white man darkens his skin to experience the black man's world in 1959.

Retail:
$9.99

Add

Up From Slavery (420-60)

Booker T. Washington was a devoutly Christian man who, as a former slave, treaded a dangerous middle ground in a time of racial backlash and disfranchisement.

Retail:
$12.00

Add

A Separate Peace (430-01)

During World War II, two students at a New England boarding school experience the dark, tragic side of adolescence. Intense, mesmerizing, and compelling coming-of-age tale. Powerful.

Retail:
$14.00

Add

Their Eyes Were Watching God (430-02)

A powerful tale of one woman's life. Set in black communities in the Deep South in the early 1900s, and told with a stunning, deeply moving, almost poetic prose. Hurston breathes life into her characters and lets them speak for themselves. A true literary classic.

Retail:
$16.99

Add

Ender's Game (430-03)

The thrilling tale of Ender, a child genius in training to become Earth's top military commander. Aliens have already attacked twice. Now, Ender must complete his training and be ready to command against the final invasion. The tender-hearted child brilliantly maneuvers through training school and leads his young teammates through increasingly-complex war games. But one question looms in everyone's mind: Is Ender Wiggin smart enough to save the planet?

An absorbing, accessible and relevant work of Science Fiction.

Retail:
$7.99

Add

Outliers (430-04)

Continuing a quest to explain us to ourselves, best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell turns his inquiring mind to outliers ? those individuals whose achievements surpass that of the masses. What, if anything, do they have in common? Can certain principles applied allow us to duplicate their success? A fascinating and provocative examination of human potential!

Retail:
$16.99

Add

Evidence Not Seen (430-05)

The true story of a young American missionary's courage and faith deep in the jungles of New Guinea during World War II, her imprisonment in a Japanese prison camp and miraculous survival.

Retail:
$14.99

Add

Teaching a Stone to Talk (430-06)

Pulitzer Prize?winning author Annie Dillard explores the natural world and human meaning in this compilation of deceptively simple essays reminiscent of Emily Dickinson and Thoreau.

Retail:
$14.99

Add

Death of a Salesman (430-07)

First performed onstage in 1949, Arthur Miller's Pulitzer Prize?winning drama continues to ask its audience some of life's most important questions, not the least of these, what is success? Through Willy Loman, an aging salesman and seeming failure at his vocational endeavors, the author paints the portrait of an American dreamer and tragic hero ... which may ultimately help each of us face our own hopes, dreams and losses.

Retail:
$14.00

Add

Fidelity (430-08)

Five stories set in the fictional town of Port William, Kentucky, reveal the author's deep love of and concern for nature and the land. Through his writings, we learn about the cyclic rhythms of the agrarian world, and about the interconnectedness of farm families to their past, to one another and to the soil that supports their living.

Retail:
$15.00

Add

How to Read a Book (430-09)

Originally published in 1940, now completely revised and updated, How to Read a Book is "the best and most successful guide to reading comprehension." Learn how to achieve the various levels of reading — from elementary reading, through systematic skimming and inspectional reading, to speed reading. Discover different techniques for reading practical books, plays, poetry, history, science, mathematics, philosophy and more.

Retail:
$16.99

Add

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (430-10)

"Notice. Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. -By order of the Author."

Retail:
$26.95

Add

Brave Companions (430-11)

In this masterful work of narrative history, a Pulitzer Prize?winning author with a gift for storytelling opens a window to the world, past and present, with a series of profiles about exceptional men and women whose lives reveal much that is timeless about the human condition.

Retail:
$17.00

Add

Elements of Style (430-12)

It's the "little book" that can have a BIG impact on your writing! A classic manual that remains relevant today, it conveys the principles of English style with clear and concise explanations and examples. From elementary rules of usage and composition, to the most commonly misused words and expressions, it's a must-have reference tool for every writer's bookshelf.

Retail:
$10.95

Add

Best Short Stories of O. Henry (430-16)

This collection offers for readers' delight the thirty-eight 0. Henry stories honored almost unanimously by anthologists and that represent, in variety and balance, the best work of America's favorite storyteller.

Retail:
$24.00

Add

The Chosen (430-22)

In 1940s Brooklyn, an accident throws Reuven Malther and Danny Saunders together. Despite their differences (Reuven is a secular Jew with an intellectual, Zionist father; Danny is the brilliant son and rightful heir to a Hasidic rebbe), the young men form a deep friendship.

Retail:
$16.00

Add

The Grapes of Wrath (430-37)

Nobel Prize. "One of the greatest and most socially significant novels of the twentieth century."

Retail:
$17.00

Add

Jacob Have I Loved (430-40)

Louise knows that she should be proud of her beautiful twin Caroline. But she is convinced that, ever since they were born, Caroline has done nothing but take from her: their parents' love, Louise's hopes for an education, even her best and only friend.

Retail:
$8.99

Add

My Antonia (430-49)

H.L. Mencken once wrote, "No romantic novel ever written in America, by man or woman, is one half so beautiful as My Antonia."

Retail:
$7.95

Add

100 Best-Loved Poems (430-52)

Includes some of the best-loved English and American verse of all time -- Rudyard Kipling's "If," Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "The Village Blacksmith," John Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn," and many other classics that ensure hours of enjoyment whether read to oneself or shared aloud with one's family. Includes authors' pictures.

Retail:
$3.00

Add

Our Town (430-55)

Pulitzer Prize. One of the most popular American dramas of all time, Our Town recalls three time periods in the life of residents of a small Connecticut town. It calls us to focus on the "little things" of life.

Retail:
$14.99

Add

The Portable Poe (430-61)

Poe was perhaps the most melancholy and deeply brooding author in American history.

Retail:
$21.00

Add

The Scarlet Letter (430-64)

A study of the tension between public and private morality, The Scarlet Letter carved new paths in American literary technique and substance.

Retail:
$8.00

Add

On Writing Well (440-02)

This is the bible for anyone who wants to learn how to write and write well. Before you put pen to paper, pick up the classic guide to nonfiction writing. Learn the fundamental principles and gain insights from a distinguished writer, editor and teacher.

Retail:
$15.99

Add
Back to TopBack to Top
Required | Recommended | Consumable | Optional Language Arts

Required Items

Resources

Binders + Tabs for High School Packages (RRBB)

You need one set of 2 Binders for each high school year (100 - 500). Whether you get a complete upper-level program or mix-and-match your History/Bible and Literature/Language Arts, you will need one binder for you and one for your student.

Retail:
$41.98

Add
Back to TopBack to Top

Consumable Items

Instructor's Guides

History 420 Student Guide (420-SG)

Get the daily schedule and tools your student needs for History, Geography, and Bible for the entire year.

Retail:
$32.99

Add

Literature 430 Student Guide (430-SG)

Get the daily schedule and tools your student needs for Literature and Language Arts for the entire year.

Retail:
$27.99

Add
Back to TopBack to Top

Optional Language Arts Items

Language Arts

Wordly Wise 3000 Book 11 & Teacher's Key (440-35)

Add this for additional 11th Grade vocabulary practice.

Exercises ensure students are able to comprehend what they read when they run across the words in context, give students confidence that they can use the words in writing, and teach students the words' various meanings.

Retail:
$20.05

Add

Wordly Wise 3000 Book 12 & Teacher's Key (540-20)

Add this for additional 12th Grade vocabulary practice.

Exercises ensure students are able to comprehend what they read when they run across the words in context, give students confidence that they can use the words in writing, and teach students the words' various meanings.

Retail:
$20.05

Add
Back to TopBack to Top
Loading
  Full‑Grade PackageHistory / Bible / Lit
Instructor's Guide
History/Geography
Bible
Readers
Read-Alouds
Language Arts
 
Science
 
Math
 
Handwriting (K-3)
 
Required Resources
 
Core Club benefits
Discount
20% +
10% +
Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum